July 20

1 Kings 21

1Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vine-garden in Jezreel, near the house of Ahab, king of Samaria.

2And Ahab said to Naboth, Give me your vine-garden so that I may have it for a garden of sweet plants, for it is near my house; and let me give you a better vine-garden in exchange, or, if it seems good to you, let me give you its value in money.

3But Naboth said to Ahab, By the Lord, far be it from me to give you the heritage of my fathers.

4So Ahab came into his house bitter and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, I will not give you the heritage of my fathers. And stretching himself on the bed with his face turned away, he would take no food.

5But Jezebel, his wife, came to him and said, Why is your spirit so bitter that you have no desire for food?

6And he said to her, Because I was talking to Naboth the Jezreelite, and I said to him, Let me have your vine-garden for a price, or, if it is pleasing to you, I will give you another vine-garden for it: and he said, I will not give you my vine-garden.

7Then Jezebel, his wife, said, Are you now the ruler of Israel? Get up, take food, and let your heart be glad; I will give you the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite.

8So she sent a letter in Ahab’s name, stamped with his stamp, to the responsible men and the chiefs who were in authority with Naboth.

9And in the letter she said, Let a time of public sorrow be fixed, and put Naboth at the head of the people;

10And get two good-for-nothing persons to come before him and give witness that he has been cursing God and the king. Then take him out and have him stoned to death.

11So the responsible men and the chiefs who were in authority in his town, did as Jezebel had said in the letter she sent them.

12They gave orders for a day of public sorrow, and put Naboth at the head of the people.

13And the two good-for-nothing persons came in and took their seats before him and gave witness against Naboth, in front of the people, saying, Naboth has been cursing God and the king. Then they took him outside the town and had him stoned to death.

14And they sent word to Jezebel, saying, Naboth has been stoned and is dead.

15Then Jezebel, hearing that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, said to Ahab, Get up and take as your heritage the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he would not give you for money, for Naboth is no longer living but is dead.

16So Ahab, hearing that Naboth was dead, went down to the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite to take it as his heritage.

17And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

18Go down to Ahab, king of Israel, in Samaria; see, he is in the vine-garden of Naboth the Jezreelite, where he has gone to take it as his heritage.

19Say to him, The Lord says, Have you put a man to death and taken his heritage? Then say to him, The Lord says, In the place where dogs have been drinking the blood of Naboth, there will your blood become the drink of dogs.

20And Ahab said to Elijah, Have you come face to face with me, O my hater? And he said, I have come to you because you have given yourself up to do evil in the eyes of the Lord.

21See, I will send evil on you and put an end to you completely, cutting off from Ahab every male child, him who is shut up and him who goes free in Israel;

22And I will make your family like the family of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, and like the family of Baasha, the son of Ahijah, because you have made me angry, and have made Israel do evil.

23And of Jezebel the Lord said, Jezebel will become food for dogs in the heritage of Jezreel.

24Any man of the family of Ahab who comes to his death in the town will become food for the dogs; and he who comes to his death in the open country will be food for the birds of the air.

25(There was no one like Ahab, who gave himself up to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, moved to it by Jezebel his wife.

26He did a very disgusting thing in going after false gods, doing all the things the Amorites did, whom the Lord sent out before the children of Israel.)

27Hearing these words, Ahab, in great grief, put haircloth on his flesh and went without food, sleeping in haircloth, and going about quietly.

28Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

29Do you see how Ahab has made himself low before me? because he has made himself low before me, I will not send the evil in his life-time, but in his son’s time I will send the evil on his family.

Amos 5

1Give ear to this word, my song of sorrow over you, O children of Israel.

2The virgin of Israel has been made low, never again to be lifted up: she is stretched out by herself on her land; there is no one to put her on her feet again.

3For these are the words of the Lord God: The town which was able to send out a thousand, will have only a hundred; and that which sent out a hundred, will have only ten, in Israel.

4For these are the words of the Lord to the children of Israel: Let your hearts be turned to me, so that you may have life:

5Do not be looking for help to Beth-el, and do not go to Gilgal, or make your way to Beer-sheba: for Gilgal will certainly be taken prisoner, and Beth-el will come to nothing.

6Go to the Lord for help so that you may have life; for fear that he may come like fire bursting out in the family of Joseph, causing destruction, and there will be no one to put it out in Beth-el.

7You who make the work of judging a bitter thing, crushing down righteousness to the earth;

8Go for help to him who makes Orion and the Pleiades, by whom the deep dark is turned into morning, who makes the day black with night; whose voice goes out to the waters of the sea, sending them out over the face of the earth: the Lord is his name;

9Who sends sudden destruction on the strong, so that destruction comes on the walled town.

10They have hate for him who makes protest against evil in the public place, and he whose words are upright is disgusting to them.

11So because the poor man is crushed under your feet, and you take taxes from him of grain: you have made for yourselves houses of cut stone, but you will not take your rest in them; the fair vine-gardens planted by your hands will not give you wine.

12For I have seen how your evil-doing is increased and how strong are your sins, you troublers of the upright, who take rewards and do wrong to the cause of the poor in the public place.

13So the wise will say nothing in that time; for it is an evil time.

14Go after good and not evil, so that life may be yours: and so the Lord, the God of armies, will be with you, as you say.

15Be haters of evil and lovers of good, and let right be done in the public place: it may be that the Lord, the God of armies, will have mercy on the rest of Joseph.

16So these are the words of the Lord, the God of armies, the Lord: There will be weeping in all the open spaces; and in all the streets they will say, Sorrow! sorrow! and they will get in the farmer to the weeping, and the makers of sad songs to give cries of grief.

17In all the vine-gardens there will be cries of grief: for I will go through among you, says the Lord.

18Sorrow to you who are looking for the day of the Lord! what is the day of the Lord to you? it is dark and not light.

19As if a man, running away from a lion, came face to face with a bear; or went into the house and put his hand on the wall and got a bite from a snake.

20Will not the day of the Lord be dark and not light? even very dark, with no light shining in it?

21Your feasts are disgusting to me, I will have nothing to do with them; I will take no delight in your holy meetings.

22Even if you give me your burned offerings and your meal offerings, I will not take pleasure in them: I will have nothing to do with the peace-offerings of your fat beasts.

23Take away from me the noise of your songs; my ears are shut to the melody of your instruments.

24But let the right go rolling on like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

25Did you come to me with offerings of beasts and meal offerings in the waste land for forty years, O Israel?

26Truly, you will take up Saccuth your king and Kaiwan your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves.

27And I will send you away as prisoners farther than Damascus, says the Lord, whose name is the God of armies.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40

25Now about virgins I have no orders from the Lord: but I give my opinion as one to whom the Lord has given mercy to be true to him.

26In my opinion then, because of the present trouble, it is good for a man to keep as he is.

27If you are married to a wife, make no attempt to get free from her: if you are free from a wife, do not take a wife.

28If you get married it is not a sin; and if an unmarried woman gets married it is not a sin. But those who do so will have trouble in the flesh. But I will not be hard on you.

29But I say this, my brothers, the time is short; and from now it will be wise for those who have wives to be as if they had them not;

30And for those who are in sorrow, to give no signs of it; and for those who are glad, to give no signs of joy; and for those who are getting property, to be as if they had nothing;

31And for those who make use of the world, not to be using it fully; for this world’s way of life will quickly come to an end.

32But it is my desire for you to be free from cares. The unmarried man gives his mind to the things of the Lord, how he may give pleasure to the Lord:

33But the married man gives his attention to the things of this world, how he may give pleasure to his wife.

34And the wife is not the same as the virgin. The virgin gives her mind to the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in body and in spirit: but the married woman takes thought for the things of the world, how she may give pleasure to her husband.

35Now I say this for your profit; not to make things hard for you, but because of what is right, and so that you may be able to give all your attention to the things of the Lord.

36But if, in any man’s opinion, he is not doing what is right for his virgin, if she is past her best years, and there is need for it, let him do what seems right to him; it is no sin; let them be married.

37But the man who is strong in mind and purpose, who is not forced but has control over his desires, does well if he comes to the decision to keep her a virgin.

38So then, he who gets married to his virgin does well, and he who keeps her unmarried does better.

39It is right for a wife to be with her husband as long as he is living; but when her husband is dead, she is free to be married to another; but only to a Christian.

40But it will be better for her to keep as she is, in my opinion: and it seems to me that I have the Spirit of God.

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